There was a time – six years or so ago now – when people were talking about the death of universities and the rise of MOOCs. (A collection of my previous posts on MOOCs can be found here). Among the many, many things this debate obscured was the fact that education delivered online was almost as old as the internet itself. Online education was mature, not some newfangled idea (in the Silicon Valley version of history, everything not invented in … [ Read More ]
So, I got a bit of mail last week in response to my analysis of the COU data (as I usually do whenever I’m presenting data on academic loads) to the effect that I am being overly reductionist about the teaching loads and perhaps implying that profs aren’t working hard. Generally speaking, these comments come in two varieties and I will take the time to answer each of them.
The first line of critique has to do with unit of … [ Read More ]
One of the huge – and insufficiently studied – differences between North America and European higher education is the way programs are structured, at least as far as Arts and Sciences go.
In most of Europe, entering a program in (say) history means you have to learn a set field of knowledge and skills. By entering into a 90-credit program in a particular field, you have a fair idea of which courses you will be taking over the next three … [ Read More ]
Buckle up everyone. COU just did what universities have been telling everyone for years was impossible: publishing actual useful admin data on faculty workloads and sessionals from every university in Ontario bar the University of Toronto (speculate away as to why this is: the footnotes imply it’s because it couldn’t put together the data together properly).
It’s all right here. Read it. It’s the best data ever put together on Canadian faculty.
Oddly enough, COU published this yesterday with no fanfare … [ Read More ]
I don’t usually comment on under-development Strategic Plans, but I’m going to make an exception for the University of British Columbia because they’re doing something that is either going to be incredibly transformational or seriously catastrophic.
Just a little bit of background. The process (a full time-line and process notes are here) has been about as inclusive as you’re likely to see at a major university. Which is to say, there have been a lot of test-the-water meetings but not necessarily … [ Read More ]